The Bitter Truth You Have to Embrace (IF You Want to be Remarkable)



Here’s the problem:

A lot of (online) solopreneurs read Seth GODin like he got the cure inside. They get infected with remarkablitis and think they’re now Purple Cows. They produce a lot of work and products that are merely good, while believing they’re creating OUTSTANDING work. They’re not. And this is the danger of delusion. Once you think you’re doing kick-ass work, you become complacent, and that prevents you from REALLY creating kick-ass stuff.

What those people create is just “good” work, and in rare, and I mean very rare instances, it’s “very good” work. But like GODin says – very good is the opposite of remarkable. Very good is boring.

Mars Dorian drawing of the LinchKing

I did the same. I got Seth Godin crazy, tweaked and changed some things and thought “shit, I’m a purple cow now, bitches”. But I was just full of myself.

If my work were as remarkable as I think it was, I would:

  • get INSANE traffic
  • drown in fan email
  • have people buy my stuff like like it’s Cyber Monday before Christmas Eve before the world ends

But none of this is happening, because I’m not as remarkable as I think I am. And you aren’t probably either.

If we’re honest with ourselves, and we have to be, because this is our future, it looks more like this:


Create and conquer not for dust particles

We’re like dust particles with faces. We talk and point at us. We work our asses off until our eyeballs bleed, but we still don’t get the attention (we think) we deserve. We think we’re shiny stardust when we’re just regular dust that nobody likes that much.

It’s bitter medicine that we have to swallow with lungs wide open.

We have to tell ourselves how much we actually SUCK. And that makes all the difference.


Once I left lazy land and stopped believing I was doing remarkable, or even epic shit, I started getting better results. I realized that I wasn’t even CLOSE to being remarkable, and got into my working gear.

Now before I create ANYTHING, I tell myself: “I’m not as good as I think I am. I actually SUCK.

Now how can I REALLY make this amazing. Not just tweaking it. Not just changing a few things. NOOO. How can I really create work that’s wayyy more awesome than my previous one ?”

This mindset of admitting how much I really suck  + being deliberate about creating better and better work helped me regain my focus. It makes me work harder and more diligently.

Create and conquer by producing more shit

Look at this drawing. The left side shows how I drew a woman years ago.  Stick figures with partial, facial expressions. Yeah, I sucked that bad, but I DID own a remarkable mindset. I DID wanted to created art that blows people away. But as we know – dreams and reality are often miles apart.  Now look at the woman on the right. My drawing style has improved like cra-zey, but it’s still not as remarkable as I’d like to be. But judging from where I came from, I know with the deepest essence of my heart that I will get there. And so will you.

Mars Dorian doodle that says "You suck now but succeed later"

What to do now

If you don’t get mass attention and DON’T drown in fan mail from your audience and clients, you’re not remarkable. You’re merely good. Meh.

Tell yourself how much you actually suck but don’t stay in that sorry-state. Let that bitter truth ignite your hunger. Produce like crazy, no matter how crappy, and tell yourself that each thing you ship will get you closer to becoming remarkable.

1)  Tell yourself: “I Suck now but I’ll Succeed Soon

2) Create a lot of work and show it publicly.

3) Between every work you deliver, ask yourself how you can make it more awesome than the last one.

Be that critical with yourself. Let that bitter truth fuel your creative ventures and you won’t fall into the trap of fake-believing of being remarkable. Because you’ll be too busy actually producing remarkable shit.

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  • kara rane

    hi Mars-
    yes*! You have to create in order to compare it to something over-time. Just wishing you were doing (or worse yet criticize those who are doing), you miss out on Being.. which is so much fun.  When in a space of Being, You really don’t care what anyone ‘thinks’. 

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Kara,

      I think the only way to know how good your work is by comparing it. Deep inside I agree, you shouldn’t worry about competition, but on a superficial level, you should have that hunger that makes you create better stuff. When you live in a western world, just “being” is frustrating, because you have to DO stuff in order to survive.

      • kara rane

        hi Mars-
        i love a good conversation, thank you.  Being is not not doing.  It is aligning your actions to a Higher Purpose.  Doing is finite, like a battery or light bulb that will eventually die.  Being is infinite, their is only Abundance.  This true connection makes everything you do meaningful (not superficial), and thus their is a propelled progress in all actions. This usually results in something much nearer to Art.

  • Dave Doolin

    Calacanis put it bluntly: if we’re not producing 9s and 10s (on a scale of 1 to 10), we’re not going to make it. Actually, he said something more like “don’t waste our time.”

    But a friend of mine noted, as you have here, the trail to 10 mashes every number along the way. There are no shortcuts. Skip a number, we’re doomed to going back and doing it over at some point. Until we get it right.

    Ok, I’m back to mashing on 3s and 4s. But I have a 5 maybe 6 in the works…

    • Mars Dorian

      That’s another way to put it – I like your metrics. I agree, 9s and 10s should be the goal , but you have to publicly show the lower numbers PUBLICLY.

      So it’s really the mindset of being remarkable while producing lots of crap till you achieve that point, and doing it openly.

  • Jeanie Witcraft

    You’ve noticed, Mars, that I’ve been rather…quiet on the creativity front. I’ve been watching, listening, and seeing what other people have done. 

    I’ve also been listening to what is needed…the things that people crave the most deeply. 
    We’re fascinated with the past, enamored with the future. We’ve lost…culture in ways I can’t even begin to describe, particularly in America. 

    May I use this knowledge to be truly remarkable, and quit sucking with other people’s ideas. :) 

    • Mars Dorian

      Whatever you can take from this post is the way to go, Jeanie. But don’t disappear from the creativity front – the world needs you to ship your stuff ;)

  • gizomatic

    Hey – 
    You definitely have an interesting way of looking at things… but hello, your Mars – what was I thinking ;). I don’t need anymore help in criticizing myself… so I think I might stick to positive affirmations. Point taken that we all need a kick in the pants and most times our egos are inflated. But that might not be such a bad thing. I thrive when I feel like I’m kicking butt, and not so much when I feel like a loser. 

    I love the dust particle with eyeballs statement!!!

    Love the drawing of Godin.

  • Sarah Bates

    This is weird. I was writing a blog post (on my shitty personal blog which only my family reads) about the difference between “accepting yourself” vs “changing yourself”, which was all “how do I be happy with yourself while still improving yourself” and then half way through I read this blog. Now I think I’m being a bit dumb. If I try and be happy with myself I WON’T improve myself and that’s fucked up. Be happy with myself BECAUSE I’m improving myself? Much better. 

    • Mars Dorian

      Amen to that, Sarah.
      I think happiness by default leads to complacency. You should feel happy doing stuff instead.

       I know this is against what the Buddhists say, but then again, they’re sitting on their asses 24/7 and humming kumbayoh, while we westerners actually have to do shit !

      • Sarah Bates

        Bahahaha, that actually made me laugh xD 

        I think I’ll rewrite that blog post and throw poo at the old one in celebration.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mars – Yep this is another great concept to put into the self
    development tool box. 


    I think that it is important to have the awareness and self-realisation
    that sometimes we cannot always be perfect and strive to learn more, review our
    successes and do things differently when necessary. I think it is empowering to
    use the Do I Suck questioning methods to re-establish performance ability.
    There are unfortunately a lot of stubborn people out there who will continue to
    do what they do because they believe that they are always right regardless of
    the outcome of their actions. Successful people grasp their strengths as well
    as focus on building upon their weaknesses. After all we cannot always be SUPER INSPIRING LEADERS unless we learn from our failures. Let’s also allow ourselves to
    celebrate the successes though ;)

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Paul,

      I agree . we have to celebrate our successes. It’s not about bringing yourself down all the time – but rather to face the honest truth and use that “upset” as eternal fuel for your creative ventures !

  • Aaron Andrews

    Whats up Mars,

    This post helped me realize that I need to stop being scared and just act on my ideas.. I have a blog that I have been sitting on for a while, I am nervous that my content is not going to be good enough so I been taking a while to launch, but I am learning that I will learn through mistakes but I just need to get up and do it!  Thanks for the post man.  

  • BlogsNewsReviews

    My amp goes to 11 and I’m a purple cow, bitches.  Good one, Mars.

    • Mars Dorian

      haha, nice.

  • Josh Lipovetsky

    Thanks for this post, Mars. Excellent stuff here. I’ve been applying this Kaizen concept and I’m absolutely LOVING it. :)

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